Media Release

New support line aims to make a difference to cancer patients

A new service has been launched to help support patients who are undergoing cancer treatment at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn.

The Clinical Nurse Specialist Line Support Line helps to ensure patients receive a quick, consistent and appropriate response to their concerns and queries.

It is part of an ongoing Macmillan Cancer Transformation Programme, which is looking at how cancer treatment is delivered at the QEH with the aim of improving the way it works for both patients and staff.

The new service, which operates between 9am and 4.45pm every weekday, is operated by two non-clinical members of staff who take the phone calls from patients and then divert their query or worry to the right member of staff in a timely manner. This provides valuable support to the specialist nurses teams and minimises delays.

It is available to lung, haematology, colorectal, gynaecology, dermatology, research/clinical trial and oncology patients.

Transformation Manager Peter Mercer says the support line, launched on May 13, is already making a difference to patients.

He said: “Before the introduction of the telephone line, many of our patients would contact their nurse directly but could be delayed in receiving a response as they are often busy in clinics and seeing patients on wards.

“This telephone line changes all of that as our staff make sure that the query goes to the right specialist clinician quickly so the patients receive a faster response. Since we launched the service, we have received more than 425 calls.

“Our initial review of the service indicates that many calls can be dealt with quickly and efficiently whilst ensuring the right calls are still managed by the appropriate CNS team member.

Macmillan Strategic Partnership Manager Helen Liles said: “A cancer diagnosis can turn people’s lives upside down. At times, the system can seem bewildering and knowing that there is someone on the end of a phone ready to answer your questions can makes a real difference in easing people’s worries while they are undergoing treatment.

“This is part of an ongoing programme of work that Macmillan is supporting at QEH to improve the experience of people being treated for cancer.

“Programmes like this are only possible thanks to people’s generosity as Macmillan is almost entirely funded by public donations.”

Caroline Shaw, Chief Executive at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, said: “By working closely with our partners at Macmillan we are ensuring a better experience for our cancer patients who deserve to receive a quick response to their phone calls.

“We are delighted to be working with Macmillan on this really worthwhile transformation project to bring about real improvements to cancer services in West Norfolk. This is another example of how we are Better Together.”

The Macmillan Cancer Transformation Programme will run until July 2020, with the QEH, West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group, Norfolk Community Health and Care and Macmillan Cancer Support have been working in close collaboration to bring about both innovation and improvement.

An overall programme of work, which includes pathway redesign, prevention, diagnosis and treatment has been compiled with the broad aim of improving the experience for patients and clinical teams.

Cancer patients who have a query or concern can contact the CNS Support Line on 01553 214610.


Pictured are: Lori Walker (seated) and Corrine Knight who are manning the CNS Line

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